Having a family history of game farming and conservation as part of my DNA, I naturally gravitated towards nature, wildlife and the open spaces, my true north. After graduating with a diploma in Nature conservation, I started to work for the South African National Parks (SANParks) where I was involved in exciting projects such as breeding disease-free buffalo, roan and sable antelope. These projects were established to ensure viable populations for reintroduction into other national parks. While at SANParks, I was also involved with the capture and movement of over 2,000 head of game to the new Mokala National Park from Vaalbos National Park and was the very first SANParks ranger to be stationed at Mokala National Park.
I wanted more, to travel, explore and to learn, so I eventually joined AndBeyond (originally CC Africa) and was stationed at Phinda Game Reserve in Northern Natal in 2008 as a guide after going through their intensive training program. Here is where my eyes lit up with the abundance of wildlife, the ecology and diversity of habitats. I was privileged to be surrounded by colleagues and mentors, who later became lifelong friends, who inspired me and who imparted a wealth of knowledge onto me. I was fortunate to share these moments and my love for the bush, not only at Phinda but at many other AndBeyond lodges, with my guests from South Africa and all over the world.
Having developed a deep appreciation for the role that great mentors played in both my professional and personal development, I too became passionate to share their advice and skills and soon found myself doing the same for younger and/or less experienced guides, naturally gravitating into a mentoring and training role. As a trainer I had the benefit of travelling the broader African continent with the responsibility of training various teams, including South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.